Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Sweetness of Guimaras

Guimaras is a part of the Iloilo Province until May 22, 1992 when it proclaimed its autonomy by virtue of R.A. 7160.

Its original name was Himal-us after the folktale of the lovers named Princess Guima and the slave Aras, who defied tradition for their romance. This island is full of splendid white sand beaches and island coves and touted as the "Next Boracay". (Bubble thought: I know Bora is famous world wide for its fine white sand beaches but due to no proper planning,unregulated massive construction of business establishments in the area, the place is threatened of siltation, loss of white sands and drainage problem. So I hope Guimaras will NOT BE THE NEXT BORACAY. IT SHOULD LEARN FROM ITS EXPERIENCE noh?)

It is a 20-minute boat ride from Fort San Pedro, Iloilo. The fort was built by the Spaniards in 1616 to defend Iloilo from the Dutch, English and pirates of Mindanao.

Guimaras Island, is known for its “sweetest mangoes” and it has around 8,000 hectares of mango orchards. The National Mango Research Institute is located in Jordan. According to the guide, the mango variety here was even certified as pest-free by the US Department of Agriculture.

To protect their mangoes, they even prohibited the entry (and maybe going out?) of their mango varieties. Oro Verde Mango Plantation in Jordan and Nueva Valencia has around 18,000 hectares.

Guimaras prides itself with unspoilt beaches. The beaches along Sitio Alubihod, Nueva Valencia is a popular destination. The white sand and clean water is ideal for the beach bums like me! You can also enjoy island/islets hopping for P400 (good for 6 persons) and P150 for extra hour thereof. You can visit Isla Naburot, Sta Maria and other islets.

Never miss the oldest existing Roman Catholic Church in Navalas, Buenavista. It was built in 1880-1885. According to legends, there was a bell, more than four feet feet but it was said to be carted away and dumped into the sea by raiders from Mindanao.

To feel rich, powerful and an overseer of the island, go to Roca Encantada. The summer house owned by the Lopezes was built on 1910 on a huge rock. It was declared as a Heritage House by the National Historical Institute on 2002. It was captivating yet gives you an eerie feeling. Never forget to ask permission from the spirits of the Lopez ancestors! hehe

Guimaras beaches are secluded and solemn, can really rest the weary soul. Take the plunge in one of its beaches. To tour and know more more of the island, you can visit

Guimaras brings out the Summer Goddess in me! haha (parang plug lang sa commercial eh. :))

till the next trip. :))



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